From idea to game
From idea to game vision many ideas float around or get forgotten. When that idea is taken an given form, it’s the only thing you can think of. That is then something that can be pushed forward. Take action, write down more ideas surrounding the core concept, this expands the life of the idea giving it great chance of success.
Vision: a vivid imaginative concept to drive your direction.
Communicate your idea. When you pitch your idea to people they will give you one of two reactions
- The oh that’s cool statement with no follow up. That shows that your idea may not be that interesting or needs to be pitched differently.
- Communicate with confidence if you’re not excited when presenting there is no way the other person is going to be interested.
- You never want to pitch your idea to “yes” people. People who don’t really understand what you are making and will just shake their head yes an encourage you to do more even if it may be a bad idea.
- Do not take anything anyone says to heart. Hear what they say, examine what they says and use what they say and then finally move on.
- Look for honesty
Going to the game premise a single sentence that is describing the users experience. The core of your game. These sentences should build a mind picture, Example:
Swords and shovels is a light hearted, action packed 2D top down dungeon crawler. A lone dwarf and his trusty warthog explore an abandoned mine to seek out glory, riches and loot while avoiding the nightmarish creatures below.
That is generally what the game is. Pitch that to people and hopefully questions with arrive out of that.
Peek interest, receive follow up questions is when you know you are on the right track.
Evolving your idea:
Taking key words from your premise and build them into more detailed core concepts and mechanics.
Things to avoid
- Words without meaning, words that are not telling stories
- Saying your game is like another game. Be clear on how your game is different.
Managing scope is incredibly important! When you say I want to create _______. Take in to account what are the resources you have available, time, What can you do? Be incredibly honest with what you can and can not do.
Whenever you are making a decision to add a feature or a change anything you should take into consideration what that is going to do to the scope of the game. When you start to ask those questions you will quickly see how minor things can effect the big picture.
The job of the game designer is similar to product development, and both are about user experience
Define SMART Goals:
Specific: I want to create a game. That IS NOT specific.
Measurable: that is simply saying you are going to do this by then.
Attainable: Can I do this? Can It be done within the measurable time frame?
Realistic: Sit down and research if this can be done within the Specific and Attainable frame.
Timeline: Still adhering to the rest of the SMART goals set a deadline. A deadline that is pushing you.
Defining SMART goals with establish what core mechanics will work and which ones will have to be chopped out. Define where you are getting the resources for this project. Don’t forget to asses your resources and account for licensing cost.
Managing decisions of software chosen to used is as well critical to the pipe line of the development. To stay on task get comfortable with spreadsheet. This will not help in development of your game but will help you stay on task. Spreadsheets are life in management and game development. Spread sheets help focus in on what needs to get done.
How do I make achieve estimates on time? Ask yourself, have you done this before? Where are you going to be spending more time? In learning or in doing?
How do you want your player to experience the game? Really great things you can do to help people understand your vision is to identify your key design influences. What is what got you inspired to take your ideas to the next steps.
The one sentence to get a layer into your game. Creating the pitch. Then comes the project description. This is two to three paragraphs getting into detail. May not be filled in into later on in the development.
What is the point of the game
How do players win: beat a level, finish the story, collect everything.
Where is the setting of the game, world building, story telling.
The game design Documentation is the place where you document. Some people like to use mind mapping software. Either way these are always changing as development in the game carries on. When working with others and you need to outsource work. Now you have the responsibility of making sure who you hire is on the same page as the rest of the team. The best way to keep everyone on the same page is The Game Design Document. This is your central source of truth. Simple, clean and effective.
Getting into some of the really fun part being the story. Don’t be afraid to delegate this to someone else. The story is beginning and now there are characters a setting, motivations. Building these separately and then putting them together gives the opportunities for more levels or missions for your game to be build upon. Some games don’t need any of this. Depends on what your vision is. Camera view, game dimensions 2 or 3 D. Art direction, sound effects. Change will come in every game dev. Go with it and have fun with this while staying within the SMART goals you have made. At this point you should have something really solid.
Making your game unique by letting people ask question. People who are working on the game should be allowed to be able to put their input in. Hear them out not every idea is a good idea and Do NOT implement change until everyone is on the same page and the idea has thoroughly been examined. Feedback is important.
Fine tuning the game Document comes down to documenting what you want the game play to be and tightening up. Interaction with the world. As development carries on you will be analyzing new things taking out old things, always reviewing what has been done and what is to come, always. How are you going to get mechanics to work cohesively together.
Tech- Story - story - game play.
Go and pitch your game again when you have those details nails down.
If you are seeking kick starters it is a must to have a playable version of your game so they will know what they are funding. Doing this will generate a lot more interest an generate reviews as well.